Before-and-after photo galleries are the most visited sections of a plastic surgeon’s website. These photos demonstrate what the surgeon is capable of; they also encourage prospective patients to start to think about their own results and what is possible.
Dr. Erwin Bulan, a trusted plastic surgeon in Northern New Jersey, encourages prospective patients to get the most out of before-and-after galleries by using the following tips:
Beware of Trickery
Some before-and-after galleries play tricks with the photography to imply that the “after” image is better than the “before.” The “before” image may be blurry, poorly lighted or have a busy background — and the patient may be wearing little or no makeup and baggy or unflattering clothing — whereas the “after” image is softly lit with a pleasant background and the patient wearing glamorous makeup and clothing. This takes attention away from the results of the procedure.
The best and most trusted galleries have consistent lighting, backgrounds and compositions, and show the patient in similar makeup and hairstyles. This puts the focus on the patient’s true transformation.
Look for “Before” Images Relevant to You
As you try to get an idea of what a plastic surgeon can accomplish via your desired procedure, look for patients whose natural anatomy is similar to yours. For example, if you want breast implants, look for women with a similar body shape, amount of native breast tissue, chest width and nipple position as you. By doing this, you get a good understanding of what you can realistically expect from a specific procedure.
Consider the Timing of “After” Photographs
Another important part of setting reasonable expectations of surgery is to understand when the “after” photo was taken — right after surgery vs. after the patient has actually recovered.
Some plastic surgeons capture the “after” photograph within the first few weeks of the patient’s surgery. This is slightly misleading, as results can take up to a year to stabilize (depending on the specific procedure). For example, swelling may affect the results of rhinoplasty, and the results can take up to a year to completely disappear. Keep this in mind as you browse.
Contact Plastic Surgeons for More Photos
If you don’t see anyone in the galleries that looks like you, contact a board certified plastic surgeon in your area; they are likely to have more patient photographs on-hand in their office. The surgeon can help you identify the patient photographs that are relevant to your specific goals of surgery.
If you would like to speak with Dr. Bulan about your desired plastic surgery procedure, please schedule an appointment by calling (973) 467-9744 or sending us an email today.